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Electrospinning Technique and its Application for Solar Cells, Batteries and Biotechnology

Dharani Sabba

332 pages
Arcler Education Inc
Nanostructures, owing to their shape and size, exhibit unique electrical, optical, thermal and magnetic properties in contrast to their bulk counterparts. Hence they attract great attention in various spheres of research. They can be synthesized using top-down or bottom-up approaches respectively. In top-down approach, macroscopic materials are subjected to various processing techniques such as ball milling, lithography etc. to form nanomaterials. Whereas in the bottom-up approach the process starts at the atomic level leading to self-assembly owing to physical forces prevalent at atomic level to form larger stable structures. Some of the bottom-up approaches include epitaxial growth, atomic layer deposition, colloidal dispersion, electrospinning. The bottom-up approaches are economical than the top-down approaches. These nanostructures can be classified as 0-D, 1-D and 2-D. Nanoclusters are generally termed as 0-D while nanorods, nanotubes, nanofibers are termed as 1-D nanostructures. Nanodiscs, nanobelts or nanoplates are designated to be 2-D nanostructures.Electrospinning is a very old technique which attracted scientific interest in recent years due to its capability of producing continuous 1D nanostructures from micrometer to nano meter range using a plethora of materials. By electrospinning, 1D nanostructures such as nanobelts, mesoporous nanofibers, nanotubes etc. can be synthesized. These electrospun nanostructures inherent properties of high porosity and high surface area owing to the precursors used during their fabrication. Initially electrospinning was chiefly used to fabricate polymeric nanostructures, but with continual research efforts and advancements in design, nanostructures of composite and inorganic materials can be synthesized. Consequently, the electrospun nanostructures are being explored for various applications such as generation of solar energy, storage of energy in batteries, tissue scaffolding for biomedical applications, biosensors etc.This book is a compilation of research articles and reviews related to the application of various electrospun nanostructures in the field of harvesting solar energy, battery and biotechnology. Chapters 1-5 are compilation of research articles highlighting electrospun nanofibers in harvesting solar energy. Furthermore these articles briefly explain the processing parameters, advantages and disadvantages of electrospun nanofibers. Chapter 5 elucidates the formation of 3-D hierarchical nanostructures from the electrospun nanofibers, the mechanism of formation, characterization and their application in solid state dye-sensitized solar cells. Chapters 6-9 showcase application of electrospun nanomaterials as electrodes and nanofibrous membrane as separator in lithium-ion batteries. Chapters 10-13 provide the reader with valuable information on assaying the properties of the electrospun nanostructures which make them ideal candidates for various applications as described in other sections of this book. This information is vital as it enables the reader to reflect upon and devise new strategies for advanced material design and applications. Chapter 10 focuses on the properties of the widely used semiconductor material, titanium dioxide, in photovoltaics. While chapters 11, 12 and 13, underline the relation between the processing parameters and precursor properties to the final product’s characteristics. Chapters 14-23 are compilation of articles on the advancements in medical field using electrospun nanostructures as biosensors, anti-bacterial dressing for wounds, tissue engineering and drug delivery to specific targets. For tissue engineering, as described in chapter 22 a plethora of natural/synthetic polymers have been used in conjunction with carbon nanotubes, graphene oxides and other classes of hydrocarbons. While in chapter 21, the use of electrospun scaffold in vascular grafts, nerve tissue, bone tissue and ligament tissue engineering has been expounded. This book which is a compilation of review articles as well as latest developments in the field of energy and its storage and biotechnology, using nanostructures which are synthesized by a versatile route-electrospinning, enables the reader to comprehend the synthesis techniques and tailoring of the properties of these nanomaterials to integrate them into advanced technologies. It appeals to a wide range of audience from chemistry, material science, engineering and biotechnology.
Author Bio
Dharani Sabba worked as a Research Fellow in Energy Research Institute of Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), Singapore, on investigating novel semiconductor and photoactive materials for opto-electronic applications. She also obtained her Ph.D in Materials Science from Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests encompass development and synthesis of novel nanomaterials, investigation of their properties and their application in renewable energy sector.